Road riders are very particular about the function and feel of their drivetrain, braking, and shifting. The collection of components that are designed to be used together is called a group, groupset, or “gruppo” if the movie Breaking Away did not sully your your love of Italian cycling affectations.
Shimano has a reputation for building superb groups with technology that trickles down from one elite generation of Dura Ace components, down through Ultegra, 105 [one oh five], Tiagra, Sora, and the humble Claris line. There is some room for mixing components from various groups, but many of the components only work within their tier.
Let’s focus on the middle of that lineup, 105 and Tiagra. Choosing one of these options over the other might best serve the discerning and budget-conscious cyclist. The Tiagra line is considered one step below 105 because 105 is a tad lighter has smoother operation. But 105 has its limitations, and not everyone is counting grams and fractions of a second.
Is it worth the upgrade to 105 or does Tiagra fit the bill? Let’s take a closer look.